CCL taps Aportio’s InboxAgent for IT service management automation

CCL now has 40 to 45 of its clients, including almost all its large clients, using the email agent daily

Spark-owned CCL has taken on Aportio’s InboxAgent email request automation solution in a bid to boost efficiencies across its managed customer service desk division.

InboxAgent, developed by local Kiwi start-up Aportio, is a plug-in that simplifies and accelerates the process of getting emails classified and logged.

In July, Aportio revealed it was offering its InboxAgent software through Datto’s open ecosystem programme. The ecosystem is a developer programme for services that complement or extend the Autotask service management toolset.

Using a range of artificial intelligence models, it reads incoming emails, strips out unnecessary text and images, classifies the emails and initiates automated actions without human intervention.

Now, CCL has taken the solution and deployed it internally to integrate the efficiencies promised by service desk automation without compromising the personalised customer experience.

“We wanted to use automation to drive efficiencies without making the end user feel like they were just taking a number,” CCL client delivery service specialist Cory Garbutt said.

CCL’s managed service desk division claims about 130 staff handling phone and email requests around the clock, every day of the week. CCL’s model sees its technical service desk staffed by trained and certified IT engineers who resolve issues at the first point of contact.

This means that clients are not shuffled between departments and that highly trained technical staff also handle some simple, but time-consuming administrative tasks.

As CCL’s client base and workload has increased, this model was proving increasingly challenging.

“Obviously, emails continue to grow and grow,” Garbutt said. “Unlike a lot of service desks, we don’t do a lot of ‘grab a job, work out where it goes and send it there. We tend to do a lot of ‘grab the job and complete the work.’”

According to Garbutt, some of the company’s more senior technical team members were frustrated by the repetitive administration of ticket creation.

Choosing to eschew potential solutions such as chatbots and portals due to their lack of a personal touch, CCL realised that email automation seemed a better fit, if not traditional ticket automation, specifically.

After looking at a few options, CCL settled on Aportio’s artificial intelligence (AI)-driven pre-processing platform to help free up the engineers who staff its service desk to devote more time to high value work for clients.

“The ticket is more a single point of truth than it was before,” Garbutt said of the division’s new workflow following the implementation of Aportio’s solution. “There’s more information in the ticket and the engineers are finding it quicker and easier.”

CCL now has 40 to 45 of its clients, including almost all its large clients, using the email agent daily.

The company is now pioneering a process with one of its clients that will use an advanced function of InboxAgent to provide even greater efficiencies.

The company’s next goal is to work with Aportio to find a way to use InboxAgent to better handle service requests after-hours.

“I think that we will have a long relationship,” Garbutt said.